Royal Roads grad appointed to Order of Canada

Jennifer Rathwell

Paul Born spends his time teaching communities how to work for change. He frames his approach as a debt of gratitude, cheerfully “paid” by working to build healthy, thriving communities—opportunities his family might not have had in the former Soviet Union.

“My parents were both refugees after the war. Both of my grandfathers were executed by Stalin,” says Born. “My family felt a there was a debt to Canada for taking us in, for saving us from tyranny. Our family has thrived in Canada and we are grateful.”

Born was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in December 2019, for contributions to his community and for his large-scale initiatives to reduce poverty. He says he views the honour as recognition of his family’s legacy and his life’s work.

Born is also a co-founder of the Tamarack Institute, which develops and supports collaborative strategies to engage and strengthen community capacity to work toward a more equitable society and reduce poverty.

“Tamarack specializes in a methodology we helped create called Collective Impact,” says Born. “We teach people to work toward large scale change by building a common agenda, which leads to a common commitment to the change they want to see. When the system learns to act together large-scale change is possible.”

Born, a graduate of the Master of Arts in Leadership program,  credits his time at Royal Roads with helping him to build the Institute, and says the learning model truly clicked for him, despite a previous student career that he says wouldn’t have won any awards.

“The method of teaching and learning at Royal Roads helped me excel,” he says. “Royal Roads is creative, practical and applied. In no small part I attribute my learning at Royal Roads to my success at the Tamarack Institute.” 

Born was appointed a Member of the the Order of Canada on December 28, 2019. The award recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service and achievement.